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NCAA suspends Charlie Strong for violations at South Florida

The South Florida football staff set up an intricate system to avoid being caught violating NCAA rules.

Should he ever return to college football, Charlie Strong must first serve a 1-game suspension for violations committed at South Florida, the NCAA announced Friday.

USF was hit with a "failure to monitor" penalty for repeated violations in the football and women's basketball programs.

In football, the Bulls repeatedly went over the number of allowable coaches, as compliance staff found off-the-field staff conducting drills and reviewing film with players.

And here's the kicker: Rather than stop once discovered, the NCAA said USF simply got more sophisticated. (Bold added.)

When the South Florida compliance department learned of the football violations, it provided additional rules education to the football staff, including the former football head coach. Following that rules education, the football program continued to allow seven noncoaching staff members to participate in skills instruction. Furthermore, according to the agreement, equipment managers used headsets to alert noncoaching staff members when compliance staff were attending football practices, so the additional violations of countable coaches rules were not discovered.

The violations were discovered and reported in August 2017 and March 2018.

As a result, the athletics department was placed on three years of probation, plus a $10,000 fine and a fine of 0.5 percent of the football and women's basketball budgets. Jeff Scott's football program will also be docked two scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year.

The NCAA said any future school employing Strong would not necessarily have to suspend him for the first game of his first season, but he must sit out one game during that season.

Strong is now the inside linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.